Crucial RealSSD C300: 64GB for $150

The SSD battles continue unabated, with SandForce, Crucial, Intel and others vying for supremacy. Our first encounter with the C300 series showed some impressive results, particularly in the sequential read tests where the SATA 6Gbps interface allowed a single drive to break the 300MB/s barrier. While there were some teething issues with firmware initially, the latest revisions seem to have cleared things up and prices are generally competitive. One of the biggest benefits of SSDs is the increase in performance for general Windows/OS tasks, and to that end many users are interested in a lower capacity SSD that can still offer good performance.

To date, the least expensive SSDs worth consideration have come in at around $100 give or take. We looked at several contenders, consisting of the Intel X25-V 40GB, the Kingston SSDNow V Series 30GB, and the OCZ Onyx. Intel obviously uses their own controller, Kingston uses a Toshiba controller, and OCZ uses the Indilinx Amigo (essentially half a Barefoot) controller. In terms of price per Gigabyte, Intel charges $2.96/GB, Kingston $3.00/GB, and OCZ leads at $2.50/GB. Depending on the workload, all three are viable options and should substantially boost performance over conventional hard drives.

Perhaps the biggest issue many have with these SSDs is their total capacity; even with 40GB Intel is still on the small side in my view—my daily use laptop uses 40GB for the Windows, Program Files, and ProgramData directories, and having some spare area is always a good idea. Crucial is partnering with Lexar Media and is now shipping their 64GB RealSSD C300 for $150, or a price of $2.34/GB. That makes it one of the lowest prices per GB for a viable SSD, and with 64GB it can actually store enough data to work in most laptops.

Like the other budget SSDs, the 64GB C300 isn't going to be as fast as the 128GB and 256GB models. The reason is parallelism, as the lower capacity drives are not able to read/write as many NAND devices at a time. This primarily hurts in write-heavy scenarios, and the 64GB C300 is still rated for read speeds of up to 355MB/s and write speeds up to 75MB/s. While we wait for 25nm NAND devices to double capacities at current price points, the 64GB C300 is a very tempting option that's available now.

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  • oborden2 - Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - link

    Man I really want one!!! Reply
  • Impulses - Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - link

    Nice drive, decent price... But I've already got a 40GB X25-V for my netbook and an 80GB X25-M for my desktop so I'm waiting it out 'till 25nm NAND.

    I gotta say, a few months ago (around Feb., when I got my X25-V) I wasn't expecting a lot more low-end models to come out before the end of the year (when 25nm flash arrives) but I've been pleasantly surprised. Between models like this and Indillix/OCZ's aggressive pricing/rebates we've actually seen a steady creep on prices over the last 6 months, which is way more than we saw the 6 months prior to that; when everyone was still price gouging like crazy on the X25-V drives.

    Competition is a grand thing... A lot of people (particularly laptop users) won't ever jump on anything smaller than 100GB, but we're getting there. I've seen 120GB Indillix drives for as low as $250 after MIR, once drives like that break $20 they'll start moving even faster imo. OEM upgrade choices still seem awfully overpriced tho, SSD aren't gonna catch on big 'till the OEMs start pricing them better as built-in options (and 'till they start offering better SSD options to begin with).
    Reply
  • crimson117 - Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - link

    What's the best way to utilize a 30gb or 40gb boot/system drive?

    The OS has to be on there, of course.

    What sort of programs should you install to it? What should you avoid?
    Reply
  • Etern205 - Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - link

    Looks like the photos shoot has been changed since this morning I've remembered it was in a white packaging. Reply
  • Etern205 - Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - link

    nevermind, saw the comments. Reply
  • PAVOB - Thursday, July 01, 2010 - link

    Why do security programs do so many writes? Will that not use up very quickly the number of re-writes for this type of memory in SSDs? Reply
  • John Dune - Friday, July 02, 2010 - link

    what's the deal with these drives, no ACHI mode at all or is it just when you want to flash the firmware? I'm a bit confused as to what and why.

    Thanks
    Reply
  • JMcGrath - Wednesday, July 14, 2010 - link

    I hear everyone talking about 25nm flash but I was under the impression Intel was going to introduce 20 or 22nm in the new G3's later this year...

    Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, or is this going to be Intel specific?
    Reply
  • fteoath64 - Tuesday, August 17, 2010 - link

    Sweet, time to get that AMD board with 880 Chipset + 850 SouthBridge. ie USD3 and 6 SATA3 ports!.
    Let see, SSDboot, 2X HDD500 Raid0, 3 X HDD1TB Raid5. One cool server on Ubuntu Lucid.
    Reply
  • jwoolard - Monday, October 18, 2010 - link

    I bought this drive.It's very quick,on sataII reads at 280,on sata III reads at 375. Had to buy an Asus Sata III contrtoller card for my P5E,but it installed with no trouble.Linux 10.10 recognized it with no problems and without installing any drivers.I am also new to Linux, so I'll See how it Goes.Paid 135Dollars at NewEgg,20 dollars for controller.It's been a good experience so far. Reply

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